This past week has been the highlight of our Mission thus far. We left Novosibirsk last Tuesday evening on the overnight train to Krasnoyarsk. Upon arrival we took a taxi to our hotel, freshened up a bit and then spent the day with the missionaries in Krasnoyarsk. Two of them were going home the next day having finished their missions. It is always hard to say goodbye to these young men and women who have served so faithfully and become like your own children. They are great examples and we know they will be wonderful parents and citizens as they return home and begin their own families.
Thursday we headed for the Young Single Adult (YSA) Conference at Buzeem, a small resort about 1 ½ hours by car outside of Krasnoyarsk. Buzeem, “Camp of Rest” is an old Soviet Military R & R camp now operated privately as a retreat resort. There were about 200 young people (18-30) and 30 or so adults (about the maximum the resort could handle) so we were the only group there. It was a very peaceful place and we could easily see how the camp came by its name. Some of these kids traveled over 40 hours by train to get to the conference and they were thrilled to have the opportunity to come. There were classes and activities every day and a dance each night (Thurs, Fri, Sat). Activities included; ATV’s, water balloon Volleyball, target shooting, soccer, beach ball Soccer, and many others. The theme for the conference which ended Sunday afternoon after church when we all returned home was “Where is your Treasure?” We took another overnight train ride and arrived home about 9am Monday morning.
On Saturday after lunch we held a baptism at the conference and two young women were baptized with nearly everyone in attendance looking on. President Gibbons performed the baptisms in the little lake at the camp. The spirit was definitely present and it warmed the soul even though the water and the weather were cold. When one of the young ladies who was baptized and standing on the water’s edge dripping wet was asked if she was cold her reply was “I feel so warm.” Sunday at our Church meeting these two and another young woman having been baptized the week before were confirmed members of the church. It was amazing to be a part of such an uplifting and spiritually moving experience. Visiting members of the Quorums of the Seventy performed the confirmations. It was a special treat for these young ladies to have General Authorities of the Church present to confirm them members.
Sister Webb and I also spoke at this conference for a few minutes in one session. We told our story of being married while attending BYU, having no money, no car, small apt, 2 children by the time we graduated, etc. And yet, here we are 45 amazing years later – still married, serving together in the church, a family that has grown to 20 with 5 children, spouses and grandchildren and more in love today than we have ever been. Our message was “find a companion and live life together” – it’s easier and more fun when there are two of you. We also enjoyed the many one on one conversations we had with several of the young people throughout the conference. Getting to know them and hearing their stories was always very tender and strengthened us more than them I am sure.
Well, we finally got home early Monday morning only to find out that our hot water was off – again. Lucky for us this time it had been off while we were away and came back on Monday evening so today – “all is well”
Last night was Family Home Evening which we absolutely love. We had about 20 people this week and since Saturday had been my birthday and one of the Sister missionaries has a birthday coming up but she is getting transferred before the actual day, several of them came bearing gifts and cards, one even brought a “Tort” (cake) so we could all celebrate. It was really fun and we all had a great time.
Everyone have a great week. I know we will - lots going on with transfers and new arrivals. We will fill you in next time. We love you all.
|A quick practice before our beginning session|
|Water Balloon Volleyball|
|The Lake at Buzeem|
|Before the Baptisim|
|Taken from the foot bridge in the beautiful city of Krasnoyarsk|
|Passing through one of the several small villiages|
during our train ride